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Music - Singles of the week - Monday, October 22, 2012

IndieLondon gleefully checks out the cream of the week’s singles…

Cody ChesnuTT, Don't Wanna Go The Other Way

SINGLE OF THE WEEK: CODY CHESNUTT – DON’T WANNA GO THE OTHER WAY: Cody ChesnuTT is a soul troubadour whose frank, socially conscious songs set the bar for what modern soul music can look and sound like. His new albumLanding On A Hundred aims to offer an upbeat reflection on these troubled times. Says Cody “This body of work is extremely meaningful to me – it represents the journey I have been on since I last released an album. Words cannot describe or express how excited I am about this music.” Lead single Don’t Wanna Go The Other Wayoffers an exciting taster… kicking off amid swirling electronic loops, a rapid-fire guitar strum and a smooth set of vocals that sound frantic but yet meaningful. It may take a couple of listens to properly get under your skin, but once it’s there it’s utterly insistent, utterly infectious and a song to make you go and seek out the rest of the LP. ChesnuTT’s vocals, meanwhile, are utterly compelling.
Rating: 4 out of 5

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Newton Faulkner, Write It On Your Skin

SINGLE OF THE WEEK 2: NEWTON FAULKNERWRITE IT ON YOUR SKIN: Our ongoing appreciation for all things Newton Faulkner continues with his latest single, Write It On Your Skin. Opening in stripped down acoustic form, and displaying his typically witty yet heartfelt brand of song-writing, it frequently explodes into life with a fuller sound that is a hallmark of the latest, chart-topping LP. The chorus is a belter, from the moment that Faulkner sets it up with “all the things I’d rather be”. It then gushes forth with euphoric melodies and a sweeping, anthemic vibe that is destined to become a crowd favourite. The video is fun too and is down below for your viewing pleasure. Life seems much brighter when listening to a little Faulkner.
Rating: 4 out of 5

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Bleech, Break My Nose

BLEECHBREAK MY NOSE: Bleech unleash their new single Break My Nose, one of the highlights from their debut album Nude, which impressed greatly over the summer. A hard-hitting, riff-heavy anthem in waiting, this has all the punch of classic rock arrangements, even channelling the energy and vibe of L7 over its kick-ass chorus. If you fancy some contagious hooks with some all-girl bite, then this is for you. The video was directed by Ken Bent and was shot in Repton Park boys’ gym, which was previously used in the legendary UK film Lock, Stock And Two Smoking Barrels. It stars international Super Middleweight contender Frank Bugliani in the ring with Courtney Pryce and is well worth checking out.
Rating: 4 out of 5

Website l Album review

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Wave Machines

WAVE MACHINESILL FIT: Playlisted at 6Music and XFM, Ill Fit is best described, like its PR states, as a tightly wound Prince-esque work out with swirling synths, a vaguely retro sound and a deeply addictive vibe. Alternatively, it’s described by lead singer Tim Bruzon as “the fuzzy moment right before you make a decision to do something right or wrong, justifiable or unjustifiable… your last moment at the point of return.” However you may ultimately come to view it, there’s a funky quality about it that makes it effortlessly toe-tapping, sometimes ethereal and definitely worth getting to know. The video, featuring the iconic skyline of both Liverpool and London, is worth checking out too.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5

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Amy Macdonald, 4th of July

AMY MACDONALD – 4TH OF JULY: The opening track from Amy Macdonald’s current LP, Life In A Beautiful Light is the crowd-pleasing 4th of July. It’s an impassioned, hopeful tale of longing for a loved one that is built around brisk guitar strums, a keen sense of melody and a clap-happy chorus (complete with some subtle horn-play). It harks back to a classic song-writing style and is one of the easy album highlights, complete with distinct chorus. It’s already become a live favourite and is breezy evidence of the life-affirming brand of folk pop that is rife throughout the singer’s third album.
Rating: 4 out of 5

Website l Album review

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JLS, Hottest Girl In The World

JLSHOTTEST GIRL IN THE WORLD: Hottest Girl In The World, the new single from JLS, marks the band’s coming of age… of sorts. It’s almost as though they’re done with being the nice guys of R’n’B/pop and opted for something a little edgier, or even raunchier. A more urban track befitting the style of classic Justin Timberlake, this features fats and furious hand-clap, finger-clicking beats over stop-start guitar riffs and falsetto-style vocals. The chorus, meanwhile, asks “how does it feel to be the hottest girl in the world right now?” It marks very little progression in terms of song-writing skills but it does have a catchy ring to it, in spite of some annoying elements. Their best offering to date? Undoubtedly… but that may not be saying that much. It’s taken from their fourth studio album Evolution, which is due out on November 5, and which sees the Brit boys working with a stellar list of American urban producers including hip hop producers The Runners [Rihanna, Chris Brown, Rick Ross] and Midi Mafia [Brandy, Frank Ocean].
Rating: 3 out of 5

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Jessie Ware

JESSIE WARENIGHT LIGHT: Jessie Ware comes over all seductive and moody on latest record, Night Light, which is taken from her Devotion LP. The track sees Jessie’s emphatic vocals offering an impassioned plea to a lover (“you’ll be my night light watching over me”) against a backdrop of swirling guitars, cinematic piano flourishes and a laidback, even late-night rhythm. The video, directed by Chris Sweeney, is designed to embody the theme of protection and features cameo appearances from Jessie’s boyfriend and sister, Hannah Ware. It’s a pretty decent effort, especially once the violins come in to deliver an effective conclusion.
Rating: 3 out of 5

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The Invisible, Generational

THE INVISIBLEGENERATIONAL: The Invisible return with the next single from their critically-acclaimed sophomore album, Rispah, in the form of Generational. A tune about how problems get passed from generation to generation, the band called upon a legend from an earlier generation to provide a remix. Theo Parrish jumped at the chance and turned it into a 15-minute epic which builds in intensity and complexity as it develops. A fitting counterpoint is then provided by Anna Calvi, an old friend of Dave Okumo’s, who turns in her own cover of The Invisible’s song, The Wall. In radio edit form, Generational begins ghost-like and washed out and gradually builds in momentum to offer something quite appealing. A raw version is arguably better, while Parrish’s epic remix is exactly that – and a bit of a patience tester. But I really liked Calvi’s stripped down, haunted version of The Wall, which is sombre, moody and thought-provoking in the extreme. It’s the pick of the collection and elevates it all considerably.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5

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Naughty Boy, Wonder

NAUGHTY BOY feat EMELI SANDEWONDER: Producer Naughty Boy – aka Shahid Khan – is widely credited with being the invisible element in Emeli Sande’s recent success story for his behind-the-scenes work on her debut album, Our Version of Events. Sande has now repaid the favour by supplying lead vocals on his first single proper, Wonder, and it works a treat. Combining R’n’B, pop and gospel to appealing effect, this thrives on its easy blend of bouncing piano chords, slick hand-clap beats, feisty vocals and gospel-backed chorus. It has a euphoric vibe over the sparkling chorus that’s difficult to resist. It arguably shouldn’t work as well as it does but it’s an effortless crowd-pleaser that should do both artists plenty of favours – and that’s despite cheesy lyrics such as “life is contagious, go tell your neighours”.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5

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Tyler James, Single Tear

TYLER JAMESSINGLE TEAR: Tyler James was once a pop star who disappeared from the scene and was forced to revive his career by taking part in The Voice. Now, rejuvenated he’s back with new power ballad Single Tear, a slickly produced mix of Justin Timberlake-style falsetto and Take That-informed balladry. It’s not that bad either, thanks largely to the sweeping electronic backdrop that eventually takes over from the dreary piano sound that sets things in motion. James’ vocal is pretty decent, too, especially when delivering the impassioned chorus. It’s over produced for maximum chart-breaking potential but it’s also the kind of track that looks soundtrack bound too (think Vampire Diaries or something of the teen market-place sort).
Rating: 3 out of 5

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